What drug options do I have for arthritis?

6 answers | Last updated: Feb 06, 2018
A fellow caregiver asked...

I have chronic diseases and my worse pain is arthritis. I have a pain management doctor and therapist, both who are trying to find a happy medium. I have good days and bad days. with the pain from body somedays are not good and then there are good days. I have polymyalgia rheumatica, rheumatoid arthritis and osteo-arthritis. I take five medications (prednisone, methotrexate, enbrel injections, folic acid and hydroxychloroquine). The pain medicine is vicdon. I am 71 years of age. I also have hip problems, which I tolerate. So I was wondering are there any other medications that could work for me?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Unfortunately, you have developed chronic pain from your trio of arthritis syndromes. Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) frequently causes pain and stiffness in the shoulders and hips. This syndrome will often improve with the use of prednisone alone, so this is probably not what is causing alot of your pain at this point. My guess is that your pain is really from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, since these types of arthritis can be more difficult to treat.

You have listed your medications, and they are all commonly used in these types of arthritis. But any clinician will tell you that medications are only half of the job in reducing chronic pain. You should also be doing the following:

1) Keep yourself mobile and active, since this will help preserve joint mobility and increase your muscle strength. Often, physical and occupational therapy can help establish exercises, even during periods of pain, to keep you mobile.

2) You should be using hot or cold compresses (whatever feels better) to reduce pain.

3) Periods of rest are critical for your body. This allows your body has time to recover from inflammation from these diseases. Most experts recommend 2 hours of rest daily for days with mild pain, increasing rest during periods of more pain.

4) Use yoga or stretching to help increase flexibility (gently) and reduce stress.

5) Lose weight if you are overweight, as this will decrease the wear and tear on your joints.

You asked about other medications that can help pain. Other pain medications I have tried include: 1) Antidepressants (which are quite effective, since chronic pain does change your brain chemistry) 2) Tylenol or motrin. Check with your doctor before adding these, as you might take too much tylenol (it is in Vicodin), and Prednisone with Motrin can increase stomach irritation.

3) Long-acting opiods

4) Seizure medications, as these are good for nerve pain.

You can also use topical creams like Ben Gay, aspercreme, or Capsacin to see if they help you. For osteoarthritis, they can do steriod injections of the specific joints that are painful to try and reduce the inflammation there. I would encourage you to look for a support group for chronic pain sufferers at your local senior center, as other folks who live with chronic pain may offer you even more advice.

Community Answers

Joyjohn answered...

You can find the most common treatments under taken for arthritis at http://www.internationaldrugmart.com/drug-category/arthritis.html

Emilypinaud answered...

I have rhumatoid,osteo and sjorenes.I get once monthly infusions of orencia.Methatrexate makes me to nauseas.Orencia has done wonders for me.

Scottybeammeup answered...

Is there a cure for arthritis? Yes there is!

It is nutrition that will give you health and we don't get it from the grocery store.

I Know a gentleman who's wife was in a wheel chair at 45 years old because of arthritis. She and her husband went vegetarian and 3 years later she was out of her wheel chair and no arthritis. That was 20 years ago and she is still arthritis free.

There is also a product that will work much quicker. Within 3 months of taking it this person I know, no longer has arthritis and her energy is amazing. There were other health benefits she received also. All it is, is concentrated whole foods which is what some doctors use to treat people for health conditions.

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I hope this helps.

Rileyscout answered...

I take Norco as my pain pill for oteoathritis but last year I started getting Kenalog steroid injections and it has helped so much. I get an injection about every 3 months or so and take a lot less pills now. Keep trying different things until you find what works for you. I feel like a new person since I started getting my injections.I get injections in my lower back,neck and shoulders. Soon we will have to decided what to do about my knees.

Volodymyr answered...

Health without pain is beautiful ! As a result of improving your health and life will be perfect. Life without pain in the joints – beautiful ! “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.” “ Norman Shealy, MD, Ph.D., an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine” What to do to be healthy ? Healing pain . Improvement of the whole body through the bath . Local effects on the area of pain (compress) .
The unique composition for pain medicine . www.health-is-mg.com